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The NFL Draft -- Live IN GAME Thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:22 am
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stingmark



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nyhack56 wrote:
There you go Stingy, Riley Reiff.  A little help keeping Stafford upright.

Im still not happy...shouldve taken DECASTRO(who now goes to the Steelers probably)

God damn!!!! Mother fucking....jesus fuckin christ....*&^%$#

and %$#@(?:^ fuck fuck fuck



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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:22 am
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stingmark wrote: Mother fuckers!!!!


WTF you were supposed to take DECASTRO...he was handed to you on a silver platter.....


MOTHER FUCKING LIONS!!!! god damnit!

You didn't exactly pick shit here though.  Reiif is going to be a good tackle, and he can play either side.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:24 am
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Papa Voo



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The Stillers with the 24th pick select.....




David DeCastro, OG
School: Stanford 



Some NFL scouts believe Stanford guard David DeCastro may be an even better interior line prospect than Maurkice Pouncey of Florida, who was drafted 18th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010 and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Coaches and teammates believe DeCastro's serious attitude and penchant for perfection were as important as his innate physical abilities in making him as good as he is. "He arrives angry and focused and expects everybody else to be the same," said Stanford Coach David Shaw. "If he thinks something needs to be said, he says it and when he speaks the players listen." "He is so serious he sometimes thinks a high five aftera touchdown is too frivolous because it might break concentration," offered Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. "But the person he is hardest on is himself." Sure enough, after earning nothing but praise and honors for the last three seasons at Stanford, DeCastro's most vivid memory is one play as a redshirt freshman in 2009. It was The Sack -- the only one he gave up in his college career. "Brian Price of UCLA," DeCastro recited. "I set outside and he came back and countered inside. He sacked Andrew." Scouts think DeCastro's serious attitude and penchant for perfection will work well for him, especially packaged with his size, strength, quickness and ornery attitude on the field. It also helped that he flourished in a pro-style offense at Stanford, where he not only pass blocked for Luck, but was a key reason the Cardinal rushing game was one of the best in college football. Although his father and grandfather were both rugby stars in South Africa, DeCastro credits his size and study habits to his mother, Jennifer, who is taller than six-feet and has three degrees, including a Ph.D. in audiolgy. Still, DeCastro admits that although he loves academics he "hates to read," unless it is a playbook. Based on projections for his near future, that may be all he needs to read.

Pass blocking: Doesn't get beat. Has enough of an anchor and resets hands to get leverage if beaten initially. Keeps feet churning and his head up. Capable of blocking down with one hand and sliding to help tackle. Very aware of late blitzers, can stonewall them or ride them out of the pocket. Usually keeps arms extended in pass pro to maintain distance with his man. Loses the hand-to-hand battle occasionally but works to quickly counter.

Run blocking:
Excels as a run blocker in power, zone and on the move. Plays with his eyes up. Takes defenders to the ground and doesn't let up. Rarely allows defenders to sidestep. Not dominant as a drive blocker but grinds to the whistle.  Defensive tackles with elite power can anchor or move him off the snap.

Pulling/trapping: Dominant leading on pulls outside and traps inside. Reaches second level instantly, has natural bend and flexibility to get correct angle. Does not always dominate smaller defenders after initial contact, falling off instead of latching on, but can take out multiple targets when he squares. Will miss inside target on occasion, giving max effort to cut or reach the linebacker. Initial Quickness: Very good off the snap. Gets hands up immediately, rarely beaten with an initial pass-rush move. Swims to reach second-level defenders. Generates push in goal-line situations, firing off hard and low.

Downfield:
Has enough -- but not great -- speed. Very effective negating targets seven or eight yards downfield. Inconsistent sustaining blocks against powerful linebackers and defensive backs, lowering his head to easily be disengaged.

Intangibles: Solid work ethic and character. Known for his work on the practice field and weight room. Durable; could play every snap in any scheme. Chose Stanford for its academic standards.


Love the pick.  I thought he was going to the Lions.  Thanks, Detroit.




Last edited on Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:48 am by Papa Voo



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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:24 am
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nyhack56 wrote:
stingmark wrote: Mother fuckers!!!!


WTF you were supposed to take DECASTRO...he was handed to you on a silver platter.....


MOTHER FUCKING LIONS!!!! god damnit!

You didn't exactly pick shit here though.  Reiif is going to be a good tackle, and he can play either side.


You're right...I just dont "get" why they didnt go with DeCastro, he was high on every mock board.


Mother fucker better work out.......Jesus christ Im going to pop a blood vessel......



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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:26 am
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You're welcome papa...mother fucking Lions...WTF are you doing? god damn it


Jesus Fuckin Christ...DeCastro will be a beast for the Steelers....stupid fucking Lions...God damn it.....:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X



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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:27 am
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The Pats move up to the 25th pick and select.....




Dont'a Hightower, ILB
School: Alabama 


Like most of his teammates, Hightower didn't give a full workout at his March 7 Pro Day. But Alabama coach Nick Saban gave Hightower, who turned 22 on March 12, an early birthday present when he offered plenty of data for those who would listen. "Inside linebacker, nickel backer, defensive end and odd rusher," recited Saban. "He does all those things very well, he is very smart and he has leadership qualities." As a freshman, Hightower was labeled "A freak who can play any position," by teammate Rolando McClain (No. 8 overall in 2010, Raiders). He played up to the hype until he blew out his left knee in 2009 and required reconstructive surgery on his ACL, MCL and meniscus.  It wasn't really until last season that he was playing back to top form, which is comparable to a larger and more athletic Brandon Spikes (New England, second-round pick out of Florida, 2010). Hightower combines dutiful film work and great instinct to help get him quickly into position for plays, and then his substantial physical abilities take over. He is a natural leader and weight-room fanatic.


Read & React: Productive, combines good instincts and fair reaction time for his size. Finds the ball in the trash inside, doesn't take false steps against play-action and gets into his drop quickly and naturally. Missing the quick-twitch acceleration, and thus reaction speed, to project as an All-Pro type.

Run defense: Solid run-stuffer with good mobility. Stonewalls ballcarriers in the hole with the size and leverages one-on-one to churn legs and prevent forward push. Big-bodied with a defensive end's frame to drive linemen blocks inside with the thick arms to maintain distance and shed or scrape to the play. Flashes hustle to reach option toss outside even with delayed read. Aggressive defensive scheme gives him a lot of chances to makeplays on run blitzes. Lacks speed to beat the ball outside without taking the perfect angle.

Pass defense:
Top zone awareness kept him on the field in passing situations despite average speed. Drops to first-down marker quickly and watches for crossers in front of him. Very aware of RB routes with effort to attack throws to the sideline. Lacks speed and short-area quickness to handle NFL slot receivers and better tight ends in man coverage; can struggle to track and catch up with misdirection. Manhandles receivers at the line of scrimmage.

Tackling: Strong head-on tackler. Gets low and wraps ballcarriers of any size. Reacts quickly enough to shed blocks or grab the legs of backs through a hole. Good chase and closing to the sideline. Leaves his feet to grab elusive ballcarriers in space using his size and strength. Occasionally whiffs, is inconsistent breaking down to attack open-field targets and misses chances when he doesn't bend and get low in tight quarters.

Pass Rush/Blitz: Regular blitzer because of his size and strong hands. Does not have elite edge speed but started to beat tackles with quickness and violent hands consistently. Shows some situational DE potential. Strength to rock back tight ends and linemen with initial contact. Average changing direction but has the length and flexibility to bend around the tackle.

Intangibles: Heady player, often directed traffic. Worked hard to rehab from serious knee injury in 2009. Took the leadership handoff from Rolando McClain as a redshirt sophomore. Spends a lot of time in the weight and film room.

Last edited on Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:28 am by Papa Voo



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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:27 am
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stingmark wrote: nyhack56 wrote:
stingmark wrote: Mother fuckers!!!!


WTF you were supposed to take DECASTRO...he was handed to you on a silver platter.....


MOTHER FUCKING LIONS!!!! god damnit!

You didn't exactly pick shit here though.  Reiif is going to be a good tackle, and he can play either side.


You're right...I just dont "get" why they didnt go with DeCastro, he was high on every mock board.


Mother fucker better work out.......Jesus christ Im going to pop a blood vessel......

Well, if it makes you feel better, in my opinion, it's harder to get a good stud tackle than it is a guard.  I think DeCastro fits the Steelers offense a little better than your offense, given he is a little undersized and quicker and good at pulling.

I think Reiff gives the Lions exactly what they need.  Time for Stafford to go down the field to Megatron.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:31 am
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The Texans finally pick with the 26th selection and take....




Whitney Mercilus, OLB
School: Illinois


Mercilus' startling 2011 season sent scouts scrambling to learn more about him, and the news was better than expected. After two mediocre seasons at Illinois, Mercilus used cat-like moves to become an All-American and win the Ted Hendricks Award as the best defensive end in the country. He led the nation with 16 sacks, nine forced fumbles and had 22.5 tackles for a loss. Of all his statistics, forced fumbles is the one that many scouts admire most. "I just have a knack for it," he said. "Throughout the game I was able to watch the quarterback's movements and just see him open up and then I just go in there and just knock it away." Scouts gush a list of positives traits, including quickness, agility, strength, instincts, condition, attitude ... and he is just beginning to mature and could be a great outside linebacker. Reaching for comparisons, they mention names like Simeon Rice, Dwight Freeney, Richard Dent, and even the great Reggie White. The U.S.-born son of parents who emigrated from Haiti in the 1980s, Mercilus played mostly soccer until high school. His 2011 season had an auspicious beginning when he lost the tip of his left index finger last spring in a weight-room accident. Teammates were shocked when he light-heartedly dismissed the injury as only a bother when he played the keyboard or tried to pick up coins.

Pass rush: Very active and plays with top effort on every snap. Moves all around the defensive line, lining up off the edge and inside at defensive tackle. Has the natural speed to win the edge and closes in a flash. Attacks gaps and is a pesky rusher, finding ways to squirm into the backfield. Hard player to block cleanly. Plays with a fighting mentality and has the violent hand usage to battle through the trash and make the play. Hustle player with a nonstop motor. Tends to play high and doesn't worry much about technique or fundamentals. Still developing his snap anticipation and will jump offside at times.

Run defense:
Lacks an obvious power element to his game and strugglesto shed blocks on run plays. Doesn't consistently set the edge and will over run his responsibilities. Still developing his recognition skills and instincts. Struggles to consistently locate the ball and will get caught out of position at times.

Explosion:
Fires off the snap with a first step burst that really stands out. A bit tight in the hips and straight-linish in his movements. Lacks great change-of-direction ability to explode laterally or smoothly redirect his momentum.

Strength: Has adequate build with very good length and overall measureables. Plays tough with the hand strength to rip the ball out and force fumbles. Lacks an ideal frame for the position and doesn't have the prototypical muscle definition. Lacks great bulk and doesn't have a lot of room to get much bigger.

Tackling: Physical in the trenches and doesn't try to avoid contact. Has long arms to wrap and wrestle ballcarriers to the ground. Takes pride in his ability to finish and complete tackles.

Intangibles:
Has only one year of starting production under his belt, causing questions about being a "one year wonder" and was a relative unknown entering the 2011 season. Had above average production in 2011, leading the nation in sacks (16.0) and forced fumbles (9) and finishing second in tackles for loss (22.5) -- consistent production week-in and week-out as a junior in 2011. Decided to leave early to help his family financially (both his parents are immigrants from Haiti).


I liked this guy.  I think this is a very good pick for the Texans.  Made a very good defense even better.




Last edited on Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:32 am by Papa Voo



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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:34 am
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Nice pick by Houston.  I am amazed at these guys that were so athletic they didn;t even play much football in high school.  That Giants have a guy like that in JPP.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:37 am
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The Bungels are up again with the 27th pick and select.....




Kevin Zeitler, OG
School: Wisconsin



A perfectionist, Zeitler expects more out of himself than anybody else possibly could in class, in the weight room and on the field. His anxious, nit-picking is noticed, and not always well-accepted, by classmates, teachers and teammates. But it is opposing defenders who pay the price when the sum of his hard work pays off on the field. So, as expected, scouting reports show he does just about everything according to the book to his best ability - and he has plenty of ability. Zeitler added a significant amount of lean mass in his college career and used it well. According the NFL Draft Report statistics he led college football with 142 knockdown blocks and had 33 blocks that resulted in touchdowns, obviously a major reason Wisconsin had a per-game average of 44.62 points and 467 total yards, including 237 on the ground.

Pass blocking: Anchors against larger defenders in the middle, resets hands to maintain distance. Athletic enough to help on nose tackle then pick up twist or late blitzer. Mirrors quick interior rushers. Looks to help the center, or even the tackle a few yards upfield, if he is uncovered.

Run blocking: Good fit in a zone system, uses mobility and strength to move defender down the line. Dips shoulder and moves his feet to get outside leverage when needed. Strong and low coming out of his stance, effective in short-yardage situations. Finds the mike quickly and negates him when it is his responsibility. Gives effort to hit as many targets as possible, even if on the ground. Need to work onkeeping outside leverage when doubling on the nose.

Pulling/trapping: Good foot quickness working behind the line, though losing a few extra pounds around the middle would help his agility. Brings hips to knock back linebackers in his way, maintains block until running back finds the hole behind him. Gets down low quickly to defeat defenders trying to cut down running backs. Ducks his head at times, must keep his posture to see and sustain against his target.

Initial
Quickness: Possesses adequate quickness off the snap to get his hands into defenders and attack linebackers at the second level, but is not elite in this category and can be a step late at times.

Downfield: Regularly hits second-level targets, uses strong hands to latch on, and keeps legs churning to carry them out of the play. Knows correct blocking angles inside, gets into position with good footwork. Will punch at smaller defenders at times instead of latching on, allowing them to get off the block.

Intangibles:
Dependable, no-nonsense mauler who works hard in the weight room and on the field. Did not start the first four games of 2010 due to a high ankle sprain suffered during the summer.



Great pick....even for the Bengals.

Last edited on Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:49 am by Papa Voo



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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:42 am
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28th overall pick coming up with the Green Bay Packers selecting...





Nick Perry, OLB
School: Southern California


Perry opted for the draft after being named USC's Defensive Lineman of the Year following a 2011 season in which he led the Pac-12 in sacks with 9.5. Considered a 'tweener who could be an outside linebacker or defensive end, Perry wants to play the latter. So he added more than 10 pounds of lean muscle since the season ended to convince scouts. Still, many believe he projects as a stand-up linebacker in a 3-4 defense, despite not showing instincts to play in the open. His natural athleticism was on display at the Combine, where he had an unofficial 10-yard time of 1.57 seconds and showed tremendous explosion with a 38.5-inch vertical jump, a mark worthy of a good wide receiver. Scouts would also like to see more hustle on plays away and/or better conditioning as he seems to fatigue in the fourth quarter. Perry was a prized recruit after he led Detroit's King High School to a 14-0 season and a 2007 state championship with 147 tackles and 36 sacks, a Michigan prep record.


Pass rush: Has very good first step quickness and does a nice job in space. Has the footwork, body control and fluidity to quickly change directions. Does a nice job elevating and getting his hands up to knock down passes at the line of scrimmage. Works hard to collapse the pocket with a relentless motor. Brings aggressive playing style on every snap and doesn't quit. Lacks elite size and length -- undersized and can be swallowed by larger blockers.

Run defense: Read/reacts quickly with good awareness and recognition skills to chase down the play from different angles. Understands leverage and does a nice job staying balanced, getting lower than blockers and underneath their pads, usually attracting holding penalties.

Explosion:
A quick, flexible athlete with sharp burst off the snap. Shows the natural bend and coordination to dip his shoulder and consistently win the edge. Doesn't always time-up his explosion and isn't a sudden pass rusher. Strength: Uses his powerful upper body and hands to force his way into the pocket. Does a nice job swatting blocker's hands/arms with his violent, active hands. Struggles to disengage at the point of attack and will never be the strongest on the field -- functional strength is a question mark.

Tackling: Plays smart and disciplined, staying at home and restraining from biting on fakes -- listens and applies coaching. Good hand strength to secure tackles. Lacks ideal arm length, but works hard to wrap and tackle through the ballcarrier.

Intangibles: Projects best as a stand up linebacker in a 3-4 scheme at the next level, but doesn't have much experience in this area and there could be a learning curve -- can he play with his hand on the ground at the next level? Lined up in both the two and three-point stance in college. Has good production on his resume, capping off his career with a strong junior season, leading the Pac-12 in sacks. Has questionable instincts when asked to drop in coverage. Appears fatigued late in games and needs to show better conditioning.

Eh....
not impressed with Perry.

Last edited on Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:43 am by Papa Voo



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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:44 am
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I thought the Packers were going to go with Upshaw. Can't really second guess Ted Thompson though.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:47 am
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Minnesota moves up to the 29th position via a trade with the Ratbirds and they take....



Harrison Smith, SS
School: Notre Dame



Smith was a highly regarded recruit, choosing Notre Dame over Tennessee, Stanford and Auburn. After redshirting in 2007, he soon earned his way onto the field at both linebacker and safety in 2008 as a true freshman (9 starts), recording 57 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and 7 pass break-ups. Smith started all 12 games in 2009 as a sophomore at both linebacker and safety, finishing with 69 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 4 pass break-ups and 1 forced fumble. He had his most productive season in 2010 as a junior (13 starts), finishing second on the team with 91 tackles and led the Irish with 7 interceptions (fourth in the FBS) and 7 pass break-ups. Smith returnedin 2011 as a senior captain with 13 starts, recording 90 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble and a career-best 10 pass break-ups, but didn't record a pick-off. Smith is a hybrid linebacker/safety prospect with the build, straight-line speed and natural power to turn heads ... downhill defender whose shortcomings athletically are exposed in coverage. He is a much better player facing the action, struggling with his back to the ball. Smith is a frustrating prospect because he shows flashes with his natural skill and playmaking ability, but is too inconsistent against both the run and pass. Smith is rough around the edges and is far from starting in the NFL because of his limitations in coverage and mental mistakes, but he should excel on special teams coverage with his closing and hitting ability ... an in-the-box safety prospect who will impress physically, but shouldn't be drafted in the top-75 picks on draft weekend.

Strengths: Looks the part with prototypical size and strength for a strong safety ... long arms with a filled-out frame. Extremely strong with natural power to make punishing hits. Physical striker who enjoys contact. Fills the run lanes hard and is a downhill athlete with an aggressive nature at the point of attack. Plays fast and closes in a flash with conviction and determination ... fast in pursuit. Makes plays at all levels of the field and has strong hands to make shoe-string tackles. Read/reacts quickly and does a nice job interpreting the eyes of the quarterback. Big-time competitor and leader, never giving up on plays ... goes hard at full speed. Very active pre-snap and shows natural awareness. Played both linebacker and safety in college with 47 career starts, showing steady improvement over his time in South Bend. Very productive at Notre Dame, leaving as the only player in school history to register more than 200 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 15 pass break-ups over his career ... finished with 307 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and 28 pass break-ups. Weaknesses: An upright athlete who lacks ideal body flexibility and natural explosion to hold up in coverage or space. Has tight hips and struggles to turn and quickly change directions ... plays stiff. Needs to be a more technically-sound tackler, often going for the knockout hit or forced fumble instead of wrapping up ... hits too high and loses leverage, allowing ballcarriers to pick up extra yards. Plays overaggressive and moves too fast for his eyes ... missed tackles in space and over runs plays. Has streaky instincts and doesn't see things as quick as he needs to. Still has a lot of developing to do. Needs to play under control and disciplined ... too many unnecessary facemask penalties on his record. Has poor footwork and feel in man coverage and is too hands-on when left on an island ... will attract pass interference penalties. Still made too many mistakes as a senior and didn't register an interception in 2011 after seven pick-offs in 2010. NFL Comparison: Craig Steltz, Chicago Bears


Last edited on Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:48 am by Papa Voo



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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:54 am
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The 49ers have the 30th overall pick and take....




A.J. Jenkins, WR
School: Illinois



Jenkins, who was also recruited by Florida, Florida State, Miami and South Carolina, was one of the more heralded recruits brought to Illinois by Ron Zook. He saw immediate action in 2008 as a true freshman, playing in all 12 games, including one start (11-287-3). He started three games in 2009 as a sophomore, but saw his production drop a bit (10-123-1), missing two games with a knee injury. Jenkins started nine games in 2010 and finished as the team's leading receiver (56-749-7). However, he really emerged in 2011 as a senior, posting team-highs in every receiving category, including a Big Ten-best 84 receptions for 1,196 yards and 7 TDs. Jenkins isn't a burner or consistent vertical threat, but he playsfast and with a degree of confidence. He is more quick than fast and covers a lot of ground in the short half of the field and is slippery after the catch. He has a lanky frame and will be overmatched physically by most cornerbacks in the NFL, but should be a solid underneath option. Jenkins doesn't appear to have the strength or natural speed to hold up on the outside as a pro, but could develop into a solid No. 3 or 4 for a team if he becomes more disciplined as a route-runner and devotes himself to the game of football.


Strengths: Jenkins is a balanced athlete with good body control and hand/eye coordination. He plays fast and can create after the catch. Jenkins does a nice job finding soft spots in zone coverage and will immediately turn upfield after the reception. He catches the ball with his large, soft hands and is tough, showing the ability to hold onto the ball after a big hit. Jenkins is a much improved route-runner with sharp moves in/out of his breaks and good field awareness. He uses his body movements to sell routes and makes plays at all levels of the field. Jenkins has a very good feel in coverage and has deceptive jets to gain a step and track the deep balldownfield. He put together a strong senior resume, leading the Big Ten in catches (84) and emerged as Illinois' go-to option through the air - producing at least four catches in every game in 2011 and set a new single game school record with 268 receiving yards (vs. Northwestern, 10/1/11).

Weaknesses: Jenkins has only average size with a narrow body type and a lean, lanky frame. He needs to spend more time in the weight room and get stronger. Jenkins' lack of strength has been exposed in a few jump-ball situations and he needs to be more competitive in tight coverage. He tends to round off some patterns and will get lazy in this area, choosing instead to abandon his routes and freelance at times. Jenkins will hold the ball too loose from his body and needs to improve his ball security and cut down on fumbles. He will try and make body catches at times, which will lead to drops. Jenkins has some experience as a kick returner, but isn't overly effective or reliable in this area. The Florida native has struggled in poor weather games, especially snow. He got into a few spats with former head coach Ron Zook and the rest of the Illinois coaching staff, so pre-draft interviews will be crucial to answering any effort or character concerns. NFL Comparison: Brandon Lloyd, Rams: Jenkins has similar build and playing style as the former Illini, but not the same type of ball skills and polish.

Last edited on Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:54 am by Papa Voo



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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:58 am
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The 31st pick goes to Tampa Bay and they select.....




Doug Martin, RB
School: Boise State



During the last three months, NFL scouts admit they studied hard to better appreciate Boise State running back Doug Martin. For his part, Martin admits he has come a long ways in appreciating football in general and the NFL in particular. It was widely believed that Martin's production at Boise State was due more to sheer will and hard work than it was any innate athletic ability that might help his move up pro football. But after a dazzling performance at the Scouting Combine, it was apparent Martin had the athletic ability to validate his production as a runner, receiver and returner at Boise State. He impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl in January, and thengrabbed their attention at the Indianapolis combine in February (36-inch vertical jump and 10-foot broad jump, 28 reps with 225 pounds on bench press, 4.55 seconds in 40 yards). All this put a different perspective on the 4,885 yards of total offense and 48 touchdowns he accumulated at Boise state -- including 3,431 rushing, 715 receiving and 739 on kickoff returns. That is impressive for anybody, but especially so for a guy who first honed those skills playing ferocious games of tag with his siblings. He had a radical game that included spins, rolling on the ground, leaping over people and off jungle gyms, and even running through a glass door -- once. "I was a fan of Jackie Chan, so I was doing all kinds of stuff," Martin explained in an interview last year. "I was crafty." But he knew nothing about football when he enrolled at St. Mary's High in Stockton, Calif., nine years ago. Tag wasn't a team sport, so he was told to try football. He obliged, but players laughed when he showed up with linemen's shoes and his shoulder pads on wrong. And when teammates sensed that he wasn't really savvy about football, especially the NFL, they were all over him. He recalled they would tease him by asking questions such as, "Where are the Dolphins?" He also recalls that he answered "Uh, Chicago?" His teammates eventually stopped laughing when, after he learned a little more about the game, they found out what his siblings knew already. He was hard to tag, let alone tackle. As a junior he rushed for 1,950 yards and 18 touchdowns and was team MVP. Since then, Martin has learned a lot more about football and, not coincidentally, the NFL has learned much more about him. So both he and one NFL team will have an enlightened, mutual appreciation later this month when Martin's name is called during the draft, probably in the first or second round.


Inside: Bowling-ball runner between the tackles. Flashes a burst into and out of the hole. Lowers his pads and delivers a blow into the chest of defenders. Falls forward on nearly every run due to lean. Finds creases with jump-steps and bounces into open on some plays, but buries his head too soon at times. Short build makes it difficult for defenders to find among lineman. Does not always read blocks correctly from pulling guards. Holds ball high and tight when inside. May not be big enough to move piles at the next level, but gets low and gives great effort to pick up short-yardage plays.

Outside: Good acceleration and straight-line speed to break off long runs. Cuts hard to his left and right equally well to avoid hard-charging safeties. Flashes setting up straight-on defender with inside-out cut which freezes them. Strong stiff-arm denies oncoming tacklers. Shows patience on stretch runs, plants foot and accelerates to avoid penetrating defenders or once finding a hole. Does not always move ball to outside hand. Ball gets away from his body when running at full speed; fumbled three times in 2010, twice in 2009 in limited carries. May not break away from NFL defenders as regularly as he did against non-BCS conference competition.

Breaking tackles: Low center of gravity, strong lean, and powerful legs let him bull through arm and shoulder tackles. Good balance to spin off a hit, maintain balance and continue downfield. Lowers pads on contact and churns through cut tackles in space. Cuts quickly and even jump-cuts through traffic and past second-level tacklers. Plays through the whistle.

Blocking: Does not offer much in terms of pass protection. Often subbed out in obvious passing situations, best help for the quarterback is as an outlet receiver. Does not anchor against oncoming blitzers. Poor cut tackler, defenders easily elude him. Lacks height but possesses strength, build and attitude to improve with more coaching.

Receiving:
Solid receiver in the flat, capable of running through tackles on the edge to move the chains. Flexible enough to catch passes thrown behind him. Effective on center screens, makes first man miss to get into space. Rarely goes out of bounds (unless time requires), cuts inside tacklers to get extra yardage.

Intangibles: Offensive weapon with defensive mindset. NFL body comes from excellent weight room work ethic. Teammate Matt Slater referred to Martin as a "muscle hamster" due to his compact build.

Last edited on Fri Apr 27th, 2012 02:58 am by Papa Voo



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